Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What Internship Looks Like XXVI: Step 3

This is what being done with Step 3 looks like. Step 3 is the last of four board exams all would-be doctors must take before they can be licensed to practice medicine independently. Step 1 tests basic science knowledge. Step 2 addresses pathology and diagnosis. Step 3 is more of the same, with a particular emphasis on management. (There's another Step 2 with fake patients.) At the end of the series, which typically takes 3-4 years to complete, it is assumed you have a basic understanding of a large swath of medicine and can make a variety of simple diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. The first three parts are very stressful, as a student's scores may determine what residency s/he can apply or match into. The last part use to be known as the easy one; there was a saying, "Two months for Step 1, two weeks for Step 2, two (Nr. 2) pencils for Step 3." That tells you how old the common wisdom is, as the exams are now all computerized. And the format of Step 3 has changed to include simulated cases, where you basically type orders into a box and advance a timer. Step 3 now takes 16 hours over two days in a standardized testing center with strict protocols. The premises are video monitored, and every time you go into the computer lab, you have to turn out your pockets, sign in with a fingerprint reader, and take your glasses off to be inspected for video recording devices (!). Hence the exercise pants, sweatshirt, and bedraggled look you see at left. 

Half smile for finishing Step 3, full smile when I pass. Next standardized medical exam in T minus 3.5 years...


1 comment:

  1. Good for you. You have worked hard and persistently for many years to get where you. Hurrah for you and for Michael who has been with you every step of the way. Gram


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